It’s not every Christmas that we open our presents to the booming sound of Chile’s answer to Snoop-Doggy-Dog (or whatever the latest hip-hop chap is called these days) and to be honest, it wouldn’t be our first choice for 2016 either! Nevertheless, that’s what we get 🙂 But before we launch into the Christmas Story, there is the final instalment of the Tyre Story. Continue reading
The Atacama Desert sits between us and the Pacific Ocean in northern Chile. As we leave Argentina over the 4,800 m Jama Pass, we’re heading to the Atacama to check-out some weird sandstone formations and some geysers. Then it’s down to the coast for a bit of beach time before we head north and then finally east back up to the Andes (click here for Route Map).
Pisco brandy and astronomy are two of the things for which Chile’s Elqui Valley is famous. We’re rather fascinated by the stars and planets, and we also aren’t averse to the odd drop of brandy and wine tasting, so the Valley holds some interest for us. After that we need to dodge the snow and find an ‘all-year’ Pass to cross the Andes, but first we’re heading to the coastal town of Valparaiso.
It’s a happening place, Santiago. A sprawling capital city of six million people and almost certainly the most modern and ‘westernised’ city on the continent. That’s not to say it is without culture, history and character – it has these in spades too. We had spent a week in this cool city before our little detour to Easter Island and got a feel for the place. Cuthbert had waited patiently at Santiago airport for us to return, but we still had things to see and stuff to get done before hitting the road again. We had found a marvellous central but peaceful and secure park-up spot by one of the city’s parks with a friendly guard-chap, so it felt a bit like coming home when we returned.
Moai… everywhere, everywhere! You know those big stone-head things for which the island is famous? They’re called ‘Moai’, and there’s almost 900 of them. Many of them are either nose-planted, face-down in the dirt or buried out of sight, but a famous few are standing proud and are widely photographed. We left Cuthbert behind in Santiago for a few days and headed to Easter Island to investigate with this Easter Island blog.
Chile is rather famous for its volcanos and has quite a few of them, particularly gathered around the Lake District to the north of Puerto Montt. Now in our view, lakes are lakes. There are many around the world and although often very beautiful, they rarely fascinate in the way that a volcano can. So we found ourselves driving through the Lake District largely ignoring what would otherwise be notably scenic lakes and focussing on the volcanos – several of them very much still active. The most recent eruption was Volcan Calbuco which popped-off less than a year ago on 22nd April 2015, so these aren’t merely relics for geological historians. Here’s out Chile volcanos travel blog…
Life on the road in Cuthbert is a joy, but not without its frustrations! Everyday housekeeping hum-drum and the inevitable technical issues that arise with all motor vehicles are not escaped on the road; in fact they are sometimes magnified in significance. So just to prove to Cuthbert blog-readers at home that overlanders suffer at the hands of the mundane too, we’ll start this Chiloe travel blog with a bit of practical stuff, then sit back and wait for the messages of sympathy to come flooding in 😉 Continue reading
High on the list of ‘World’s Most Iconic Road Trips’, Chile’s Carretera Austral is a long, scenic drive down the western side of the southern Andes. It runs some 1,200 km south from its start in the city of Puerto Montt. As with Ruta 40 in Argentina, you can’t really say that you’ve ‘driven Chile’ unless you’ve done ‘The Carretera’. So here we go… starting our Carretera Austral Blog, where else, but at the end.
We’re going to be doing a lot of ‘heading north’ in 2016, so from Punta Arenas we’re starting the New Year as we mean to go on… heading north! The (extremely) vague plan for the next few weeks is to zig-zag randomly between Chile and Argentina, up western Patagonia and the southern Andes. This will be our introduction to South America’s proper mountains. It’s a well-trodden route, up the Carretera Austral in Chile and Ruta 40 in Argentina. There’s a lot of Continue reading